17 and Counting: North Carolina the Latest State to Legalize Sports Betting


Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Duke Blue Devils mascot

  • North Carolina officially legalized sports betting on Friday with Gov. Roy Cooper signing a bill into law.
  • The Tar Heel State becomes the 17th state in the U.S. that will offer legal wagering.

Sports bettors in North Carolina got their wish on Friday: Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill into law that will legalize wagering in the state’s two tribal casinos.

Mobile betting — which has accounted for more than 80% of the $3 billion in bets New Jersey handled in its first year of legalization — will not be available in the Tar Heel State.

Unlike other states, North Carolina will allow bettors to wagers on collegiate sporting events involving teams from the state.

The bill effectively gives North Carolina’s two casinos, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, the exclusive rights to offer sports betting in the state. Both of those casinos are located in the western portion of North Carolina, 3-4 hours away from Charlotte via car and 5-6 hours away from Raleigh.

With the move, North Carolina becomes the 17th state in the U.S. to have legal sports betting — 10 of which have gone legal this year.

The Supreme Court’s May 2018 ruling that overturned the federal ban on sports betting has allowed states outside of Nevada to legalize it if they wish. Since that ruling, we’ve seen the following states make the move: Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and West Virginia.

For updates on where legal sports betting stands in all 50 states, check out our tracker.

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